A series of 12 blog posts to help you get your mojo back 1/12

Starting a series of 12 blog posts over the next 4 months to help you get your mojo back. Sometimes, we find ourselves at a crossroad, celebrating a milestone or looking for a big change and it can be quite daunting. In this series, I will give you baby steps ideas to help you move forward and get your mojo back!

Sounds familiar? You woke up one day, asking, have I left it too late? You're lost in thoughts thinking this isn't the life I want, when will it change, or are you considering booking your next appointment with the clairvoyant? Two good news then my friend.  If there's a will, it means there's a want! The secret is to take action! Let me tell you about my own story and how I found myself in a similar situation and learn that it's never too late to take action!

After 15 years working in sales, desperately missing a creative side in my life, I quit my job and went back to university to study for an MA in photography. To the sound of being cliché, photography had always been a passion of mine. I'd reached a point where it felt like I wasn't going anywhere with my photography and only took my camera out on holidays. I was stuck in a rut, to the point where I was ready to give up photography all together, this is where I was, when I started an MA in Photography.

Jane Eldridge served in the WRNS during World War Two

Jane Eldridge served in the WRNS during World War Two

Going back into education and being over 40 was a challenge, some days I was ready to quit as it felt too hard to hear that my work was basically "crap", I didn't have the stomach for it. I hung on there, every day was a discovery for me though!  I found out what I really loved to photograph, my motto, I was in love with the art of portrait.

There was another challenge I'd to overcome though. I realised that I'd mostly been photographing landscapes because it felt too overwhelming to have someone standing in front of my camera. I could imagine myself completely lost being, so nervous that the sitter would pick up my anxiety. Both running away as a result! Be reassured, it didn't come to that end.

I figured out it was now or never, I'd to take the leap, overcoming years about fears to fail. I choose a project about women who volunteered during World War Two for my final year submission. Photographing women in their 90s, who were avoiding the camera at all cost. What a nice challenge indeed to start with!!

People didn't understand that I was after the story and the portraits! I learned, taught myself how to use studio lights, off camera flash, umbrellas, soft box and even went back using a film camera! I learned posing, the best angles, and how to put people at ease in front of a camera. Travelled England from North to South and East to West. I felt ecstatic, in my element, listening to these women's stories and having them posing in front of my camera, it was like coming back home! Winifred one of the interviewee celebrating her 90th birthday with a flying lesson on a  glider for the first time, all these women taught me that it is never too late. Believe in yourself and take action! 


PS. If you want to read more about Jane and the women who served in World War Two have a look at my book In Their Own Words about the story of 20 Women Who did their bit for the country.